Death of Marat and Monster

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Picasso, Death of Marat, 1931

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Picasso's Death of Marat gave me nightmares...once I figured out which limbs belonged to who. He paints Charlotte Corday towering over the tiny headed Marat as she gruesomely stabs him in the chest. This piece reminded me of "Monster" by Eminem because of the way he paints Corday. I see her losing her mind here, like the hatred she has for Marat takes over as she looks like she is about to take his head off. The story I know, that Corday meticulously planned her assassination of Marat. She thought through the whole process and here, Picasso takes the scene and makes it a passionate murder. Not one of trying to save her people, but a rage-fueled strike. Giving me the feeling that she is "friends with the voices inside of [her] head."

All of Eminem's verses talk about his struggle finding fame, his voice, and fighting with the "monsters" in his head. Though Corday appears to be the monster here, Marat gained his fame during the French Revolution sentencing any potential threat to death by simply writing them off. Clearly, the monster took over for him and he made a name for himself that Corday could not stomach. The actions that Marat took throughout the French Revolution may have been what he thought was right for the new republic, but "trying to save" the people didn't work as well as he had hoped. The terror is a good example of the monster taking over what once was a good idea (overthrowing the king that is).

I guess my point is that I see both Corday and Marat as the monster here. I see Corday as a monster because of how viciously Picasso painted her here, and I think it plays well with the song to say that the monster took over when she murdered Marat, even if it was a preconceived action. Not so much from this painting in particular, but I do see Marat as a monster for The Terror and though he may look small and weak in his bathtub here, his "monster inside of [his] head" caused much larger problems than Corday's act of vengeance.

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